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Wolves play to 0-0 draw in opener

JENNA-LEY HARRISON
Staff Writer

LINCOLNTON — The Lincolnton Wolves were unable to dominate non-conference team the Forestview Jaguars Tuesday evening as they tried to repeat last week’s victory scrimmage against the Gaston County team. In the end, the squads tied 0-0.
Wolves head coach Ian Leith admitted his disappointment over the outcome of his team’s first season game.
“We should have won,” he said. “We outplayed them and outpossessed them.”
He particularly pointed out how two starters sat the bench, including key player senior Kevin Orias for an injury. Leith additionally noted that his squad had been focusing on its shooting skills in practice all summer. However, much to his dismay, players’ numerous attacks on goal proved unsuccessful against the Jaguars’ goalkeeper.
Forestview commenced the match with possession of the ball, but their home team competition proved more aggressive in the game’s opening minutes, particularly senior Chad Smith, who displayed skillful footwork, dribbling the ball down field during several open opportunities.
Senior teammate Dennis Rodriguez additionally targeted the goal from the 18-yard line throughout the match.
The empty scoreboard not only masked the teams’ physical abrasiveness on the field, forcing referees to administer a yellow card against Forestview player Jake Quinn in the final minutes of the first half, but also Lincolnton’s near goals, in which the ball bounced off the cross bar on two separate occasions throughout the match.
“It was a good physical game,” Leith said.
Referees were also quick to call close contact among players, giving both squads the advantage of free kicks, many of which panned out at field’s center-mid mark.
Each team received an offsides call during the match including Forestview’s close attack on their opponent’s goal at the 31-minute mark of the second half. Jaguar fans cheered the play with confidence that their squad would be leaving the field with a 1-0 win, but the referee’s whistle declared otherwise.
Following the match, Leith said his chief goal for the season is for his team to prevent additional tie games and showcase a fierce fight against top conference rivals the East Lincoln Mustangs and the Lake Norman Charter Knights.
The Wolves ended last season with a third-place spot in the Southern Piedmont 1A/2A Conference but advanced all the way to the third round of the 2A state playoffs, only to fall 3-0 to their Mustang rival.

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